The shape of the church has dramatically changed. It feels like everything we thought about life, spirituality, and church has been altered or brought into question. And in the west, the Gospel of Jesus has often been replaced for an “American Gospel” fashioned in the form of one’s political allegiance rendering the church irrelevant. What is the future of the church? How do we return to God’s design for His Church?
If we are going to answer these questions we must go back to the first followers of Jesus and rediscover what the church was intended to be? And how this mostly Jewish Jerusalem-based community became a multi-ethnic international movement that changed the world as we know it. Join us for our series out of the Book of Acts as we look back at how the church began to discover what it really means for us to be the church today.
What is the future of the church?
How do we return to God’s design for His church?
INTRODUCTION TO ACTS:
Author: Luke was physician, historian, and traveling companion of Paul on his missionary journey’s. He is the only Gentile author in the New Testament. His 2-volume work, Luke & Acts make up 27% of the New Testament. Luke summarizes Volume 1 as a detailed researched work of “all that Jesus began to do and to teach.”
Acts: The full title is the “Acts of the Apostles” However, the book is more accurately the continuation of all that Jesus began to do and teach by the Spirit through the Apostles, namely Peter and Paul.
“This is a story about Jesus leading His people by His Spirit to go out and invite all people of the world to live under His reign.” - Bible Project, Acts
Audience: Theophilus was perhaps a wealthy Roman aristocrat or military official or it could have been a pseudonym to protect the identity of the benefactor. Theolphilus means friend or lover of God, some have suggested the book may simply be intended for all those who are lovers of God.
Date: Around A.D.60-64. Acts covers approximately a 30-year period from the ascension of Jesus [A.D. 33] to Paul’s 2-year imprisonment in Rome [A.D. 60-62].
Key Text + Structure: Acts 1:8
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
- Jerusalem: The Birth of the Church in Jerusalem, Acts 2-7
- Judea + Samaria: The Church Persecuted & Scattered, Acts 8-12
- Ends of the Earth: Paul’s 3 Missionary Journey’s, Acts 13-28
There are 8 summary statements or progress reports: Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-37,6:7, 9:31, 12:24, 16:15, 19:20, 28:31
- The Gift of the Holy Spirit
- The Gospel for All Nations
- The Birth of the Church
- Persecution & Providence
THE FUTURE CHURCH:
The Church is the Spirit-empowered community of Jesus on mission to invite the entire world into new life in the kingdom of God.
1.It is about ushering in the KINGDOM of GOD. Acts 1:1-6
2. Operates in the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. Acts 1:5-8
3. Every Believer is a MINISTER of the GOSPEL. Acts 1:8-11
4. Live in anticipation of the RETURN of JESUS. Acts 1:9-11
5. Appoint godly leaders who faithfully WALK with JESUS. Acts 1:12-26